NH summit brings police therapy dogs together to work on cuteness tactics

NH summit brings police therapy dogs together to work on cuteness tactics

CONCORD, N.H. — Officer Clarence is a veteran Greenfield officer and one of the first comfort dogs in the nation.

He was a guest at a Concord, New Hampshire summit Friday, where officers were talking about how valuable dogs like him are becoming in law enforcement.

Officer Clarence has responded to some of the worst tragedies in the country.

Content Continues Below

"We started at Sandy Hook," his partner, Greenfield Police Lt. William Gordon, said. "We've been to Boston for the bombing. Las Vegas."

Officer Clarence's secret weapon is being wicked cute.

"When we bring in the dog, all of a sudden, the sun shines. The rainbow comes out," Gordon said. "It's because he is so calm. Calmness breeds calmness."

Concord, NH Police hired Officer Liberty to help their department better engage crime victims and keep officers upbeat.

"They have a bad shift, she's there. They pet her and talk to her. It's a wonderful experience," Concord NH Police Chief Bradley Osgood said.

Comfort dog trainers say the odds of someone talking more openly go from 25 percent to 80 percent when these guys are on scene.

Westminster police use Officer Merle in the schools.

"We've created more bonds in our school district than we ever had before," Westminster Officer Nathan Hawkins said.

A New Hampshire lawmaker is trying to change the law so these officers can help people feel more comfortable testifying in court -- especially children.

"A dog can calm someone down and make them feel better about what they are doing," Rep. Katherine Rogers (D-Merrimack) said.

Officer Clarence knows what he is doing, and he knows people. He has a great disposition. For some, this line of work is in their blood and that's something Clarence hopes to pass down to the next generation of officers.